SARS Transmission and Hospital Containment

Gowri Gopalakrishna, Philip Choo, Yee Sin Leo, Boon Keng Tay, Yean Teng Lim, Ali S. Khan, Chorh Chuan Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was detected in Singapore at the beginning of March 2003. The outbreak, initiated by a traveler to Hong Kong in late February 2003, led to sequential spread of SARS to three major acute-care hospitals in Singapore. Critical factors in containing this outbreak were early detection and complete assessment of movements and follow-up of patients, healthcare workers, and visitors who were contacts. Visitor records were important in helping identify exposed persons who could carry the infection into the community. In the three hospital outbreaks, three different containment strategies were used to contain spread of infection: closing an entire hospital, removing all potentially infected persons to a dedicated SARS hospital, and managing exposed persons in place. On the basis of this experience, if a nosocomial outbreak is detected late, a hospital may need to be closed in order to contain spread of the disease. Outbreaks detected early can be managed by either removing all exposed persons to a designated location or isolating and managing them in place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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